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Gallup Confirms the American Worker Remains Unengaged

Gallup has released its latest State of the American Workplace report, and the results are what you might expect, given previous annual results. Over 2/3 of American workers report themselves unengaged or even disengaged in their work.

Survey Results for 2013 (%)





Actively Disengaged


It is amazing to us that even with all the talk about the value to be derived from investments in employee engagement, these results haven’t changed much since 2000, with only small variations of 2-3% up and down in each category: The great mass of American workers remains unengaged from work. What conclusion can we draw from this? First, most organizations are not investing in engagement initiatives. But, here is our favorite conclusion:

Companies that do engage their employees in their mission gain competitive advantages.

If not everyone is engaged in engagement, organizations who do successfully engage their employees in their mission will earn a better cost structure, improved innovation and customer satisfaction, and increased profits, because greater engagement does tie to greater productivity. As Gallup notes:

“(W)hen workers spend more time using their strengths to do work they enjoy or find valuable, the less likely they are to find time to be unhappy. In general, better engagement also leads to less absenteeism and more productivity and profitability.”

–Quote from Harvard Business Review article about the report.

More specifically, Gallup sees a measurable connection between employee engagement and fewer costs for factors like Absenteeism, theft, staff turnover and safety incidents.

Gallup Cost Areas

In our own work with energy companies around the world, in particular, we can confirm that all of those factors see improvement when an active program of engagement is implemented and sustained.

You can find a great write-up of the report here on the Harvard Business Review blog.

You can access the Gallup report summary here.

Do these results describe your workplace? How consistently have your superiors pursued the goal of full employee engagement?


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